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Can You Teach A Dog Food Manners?

As anyone who has ever owned a well-behaved dog knows, they can make the best of pets. They are loyal, loving, playful, and protective of the safety of family members. If they are taken care of properly, they can and will provide years of entertainment and great memories.

All that being said, a dog that is not so well behaved can sometimes be a pain. There are many instances in which a dog’s bad behavior can be, at the minimum, embarrassing to the owner.

One of the times when this kind of acting up is commonly observed is during mealtimes. Poorly trained dogs will not only act overly protective and aggressive around their own food, they will take bites from their owners’ plates of food given the slightest opportunity.

Obviously, this kind of behavior is not acceptable. Fortunately, there are some time tested techniques which can turn the most boorish dog into a paragon of mannerliness.


The food training process for canines is not rocket science. A few days of concerted attention is usually enough to turn even the most ornery pet around.

1. The first step will be to train the dog to respect your mealtimes. One of the easiest ways to do this is to train the dog to go to its sleeping area while members of the family eat their food.

When the human mealtime comes around, tell the dog to go to its bedding area. Use a clicker at the same time to reinforce the command, and then give the dog a reward when it complies with the command. Do this repeatedly for several days and don’t give in to the puppy dog eyes. Within a few days, the dog should have learned to respect human meals.

2. The next step will be for the dog to learn never to bite the hand that feeds it. The first step in this process will be to give the dog some food in its bowl and see how it responds. If any aggression at all is detected, quickly take away the food bowl and feed the dog by hand. Over the next few days, repeat this process until it is possible to place a hand in the dog’s bowl while it is eating without any aggressive outbursts.

Once this has happened, the dog will have learned to never act in an aggressive manner when the owner is feeding it. This will establish some level of dominance on the owners part, and is key to keeping peace with the pet.

Yes, with a little patience, firmness, and love, just about any dog can earn his place at the table.